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Re: "image analysis heuristics" (ISSUE-66)

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 03:32:44 +0000 (UTC)
To: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1002070321050.26790@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Sat, 6 Feb 2010, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> 
> But I also don't understand why you think it's better to list specific 
> techniques in the text itself, rather than just referring to the 
> specific section of UAAG that covers this already:

Because I think the document should, to the extent possible, be 
self-contained. This is why I object to splitting the spec up, it's why I 
object to deferring to other documents for implementation advice, it's why 
I objected to having a separate "author" version of the spec.

As a general rule, people don't follow references. Once a reader is 
actually reading the spec, we owe it to them to give them all the relevant 
information. If we move accessibility advice out of the document, we are 
going to be doing AT users a disservice, because fewer people will see 
that advice.

This is, of course, merely my opinion.


> > > 5. Does not imply the use of futuristic technologies.
> > 
> > Image recogition is not a futuristic technology, and nor is OCR.
> 
> I didn't say those techniques were.  But the previous discussion showed 
> how the text was being interpreted as implying the use of unrealistic 
> technologies and my point here was that any new text should avoid the 
> same issue.

As I recall, the text was being interpreted as meaning image recognition 
and OCR, which is what it meant.


> > > 7. Indicates that it is about providing additional information about the
> > >    image, which may help the user to understand the image's content or
> > >    purpose.
> > 
> > It's about aiding the user's comprehension of the page;
> 
> I don't see how this is any way contradicts what I said. Understanding 
> the purpose of the image does aid in the user's comprehension of the 
> page, so I don't see any real disagreement here.

The contradiction is here:

> > if that can be done without the user ever being informed of the image, 
> > then I don't see why that should be non-conforming. So I disagree with 
> > this.
> 
> I didn't mean to imply that, and I'm not sure how you interpreted what I 
> said in that way.

You can't provide additional information about an image without 
acknowledging the presence of the image. I'm saying that if a UA is 
sufficiently advanced, then it should be able to aid the user's 
understanding of the page to the extent that the image does so for sighted 
users, even if it does not at any point acknowledge the presence of the 
image. (This is much like how alt="" attributes, when present, can be 
inlined into the page's content without mentioning the image.)


> > > In my own view, the current text [...] partially fails #5 by 
> > > mentioning "heuristics" without clearly describing what would or 
> > > would not be classified as such
> > 
> > How can one allow any repair technique while enumerating all the 
> > techniques? I don't think those two requirements are compatible.
> 
> My point here was not to suggest that every technique should be listed, 
> but that you should not use the term heuristics because it seems to 
> convey the idea of unrealistic/futuristic technologies.  Just refer to 
> them as techniques instead.

The word "techniques" in this context would be a tautology. The word 
"heuristics" is the right word. I can't help it if people misinterpret it 
to mean something that it doesn't mean.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Sunday, 7 February 2010 03:33:14 GMT

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